How do I insure my car?
How soon after buying my car must I insure it?
You’re responsible for your car as soon as you buy it; before driving it anywhere, it’s advisable to insure it.
All vehicles in Australia must have compulsory third party (CTP) insurance before they can be registered and legally driven on the road.
If the car you’re buying is already registered, the CTP insurance will be transferred to you – you won’t have to buy CTP insurance for the car until the current registration expires.
CTP insurance doesn’t cover loss or damage to your car or damage to other people’s property, unlike other types of car insurance.
When taking out car insurance, what do I need to tell you?
When you get a quote for car insurance, we’ll ask you a series of questions about you (and any other drivers) and your car.
For example, we’ll ask you how the car will be used, where it will be parked at night, and about the insured drivers’ driving and claims history.
Your answers will help us assess the risk of insuring you and your car and, in turn, calculate your premium.
It’s therefore important you answer the questions truthfully and completely.
How much can I insure my car for?
With Budget Direct, you can insure your car for its market value or, in some cases, for an agreed value.
Market value is the reasonable cost to replace your car with one of the same make, model, age, mileage and overall condition.
To get an idea of what your car may be worth, search for it in the Red Book or on car sales websites.
Please note that the prices provided by these sites are only meant to be a guide. Your car's market value will be determined by us at the time of the loss or damage.
Agreed value is the amount we agree to insure your car for. We may offer you an agreed value, provided:
- your car is less than 10 years old; and
- your car has not been converted to LPG; and
- the agreed value is within an acceptable range of the market value.
The value for which your car is covered is shown on your insurance certificate and in your online account.
Which drivers must be listed on my car insurance policy?
With Budget Direct, you must list any household members (including learner, provisional and occasional drivers) who may drive the car. Unlisted household members won’t be covered.
Any non-household members who are not excluded drivers (e.g. due to age restrictions) are automatically covered. If you list them on your policy, you’ll avoid having to pay the unlisted driver excess (other excesses may apply).
Can I transfer my no-claim bonus or driver rating from my current car insurer to Budget Direct?
Yes – as long as you send us proof of your current no-claim bonus (or no-claim discount, as we call it) or driver rating.
This proof – which you must send us within 14 days of the start of your Budget Direct policy – can be in the form of a renewal offer or letter from your current insurer.
Please send any offer or letter – with the subject line ‘NCD [policy number]’ – to:
Fax: 07 3377 8855
Post: Auto and General Services
PO Box 342
Toowong QLD 4066
We’ll factor in the rating when we calculate your premium.
Will you insure a car that’s got pre-existing damage?
When you get a quote to buy Budget Direct car insurance, we’ll ask you whether your car has any existing hail and/or accident damage.
If it does, our decision whether to cover your car will depend on how much damage it has.
If we agree to cover your car, we’ll ask you to upload photos of it via our Online Car Inspection website, or have the car checked at a nearby inspection station.
When does my car insurance take effect?
Your Budget Direct car insurance will take effect the day you buy the policy – unless you’ve chosen a later date for your cover to begin, in which case it will take effect on that date.
Will I need a car insurance cover note or letter?
Budget Direct doesn’t issue cover notes, which are temporary documents issued by some insurers to cover policyholders until they receive their formal insurance documents.
Instead, when you buy a policy from us, we’ll give you a policy number – confirmation your car is covered.
What if I'm selling or trading in a car and buying another one?
If you’re trading in your car, you’re responsible for it until the purchaser/dealer takes possession of your car.
You can then insure your new car by changing the car details on your existing Budget Direct policy, either by calling us on 1300 306 560 or logging into your online account and editing your policy.
If you replace your Budget-Direct-insured car with a similar one, we’ll automatically provide the same level of cover for your replacement car for 14 days from the purchase date – even if you don’t contact us. (Cover for your previous car ends at the same time.)
Your replacement car will be temporarily insured for its market value or purchase price, whichever is lower.
You’ll just need to make sure you update your existing policy before the temporary cover expires.
I'm insuring a car bought on finance – do I need to do anything in particular?
If you’re buying your car on finance, ask the finance company whether they have any special insurance requirements.
They usually require the car to be comprehensively insured and for you to provide proof of insurance – a certificate of currency, for example, which we can give you.
The car finance company has asked me for a certificate of currency – what’s that?
A certificate of currency is a document that proves your car is insured.
Among other things, the certificate shows the period of insurance, the sum insured, and the interested party, namely the finance company.
It assures the finance company that, if your car was written off in an accident, the company would be the first to be paid out.
How can I get my certificate of currency?
You can download your certificate of currency from your online account immediately after purchasing your Budget Direct car insurance; or you can call us on 1300 306 560 to request the certificate.
What car insurance policy documents can I expect to receive?
Your Budget Direct car insurance policy documents comprise:
- Certificate of insurance – your proof of insurance, including your sum insured, excesses and add-on benefits.
- Policy schedule – contains a summary of what you have disclosed to us in regard to the insured car and drivers.
- Product disclosure statement – tells you everything you need to know about the product, including the terms, conditions, limits and exclusions that apply; and how to make a claim.
Is it the car that's insured or the driver?
It’s the car that’s insured, however it’s extremely important to consider who will be driving it.
If you’ve chosen to restrict your Budget Direct policy to drivers above a certain age (21+, 25+, 30+, 40+ or 50+), your car will be covered only while being driven by someone over that age.
Moreover, household members who drive your car will be covered only if they are listed on your policy.
Non-household members who are not excluded drivers (e.g. due to age restrictions) are automatically covered to drive your car.
By listing them, you’ll avoid having to pay the unlisted driver excess in the event of a claim.
Can I get short-term car insurance – for example, for a day, a week, a month?
No – Budget Direct car insurance policies are effective for one year (although you can choose to pay your premium fortnightly, monthly or annually).
Can a person be denied car insurance?
Yes – insurers are not legally required to provide car insurance to anyone who requests it, though it’s rare for someone to be denied cover.
Among the reasons an insurer might deny someone cover are licence cancellations/disqualifications, drink and/or drug driving offences, criminal convictions (e.g. for insurance fraud) or an adverse claims history.
Does Budget Direct insure Driverless cars?
There are no fully driverless cars available for purchase at this stage, but Budget Direct does insure several models of cars that have driverless/safety features.
We currently insure cars with many driverless features such as:
Adaptive cruise control
Auto Emergency Braking
Read more about driverless car insurance